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Showing posts from December, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year! I am travelling tomorrow. See you all next year!

George Orwell's 1984

I have been reading George Orwell's 1984. I am half way now. I want to share some quotes I like.
One of these days, thought Winston with sudden deep conviction, Syme
will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly.
The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear. It is written in his
face.
Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was
forgotten, the lie became truth.
Orwell, in my opinions, probably wrote this fiction based on his experiences about
the British colonial rule in Burma. Orwell used to live in Katha and Moulmein
(Mawlamyine) while he was serving in the Indian Imperial Police. He hated imperialism
and quit the job. He later pursued his writing career.
The book vividly describes the danger of being watched and brain-washed by a
government. The main character, Winston Smith, works at the Records Department of a
fictional country called Oceania. The department is responsible for
producing records that are…

Poor Burmese girls

Independent Appeal: Burma's girls are victims of China's
one-child policy
No one ever expected it to be the young girls of Burma who would become the
unintended victims of the one-child birth control policy in China. But two
decades on, children as young as 10 are being trafficked across the border from
Burma into China as child brides. They are sold into a future of high uncertainty.
Read more at the Independent.


West meets East

Image
I went to Chatuchak weekend market today. It was probably my fourth or fifth visit.

Chatuchak is a very famous tourists destination in Bangkok. A visit to Chatuchak is like an exotic cultural experience for tourists, especially for westerners from developed countries. Everything from Thai silk to modern fake Levi jeans can be found at the clothing stall booths as far as the eyes can see. The shops sell almost everything under the sun --- antique handicrafts and modern furniture, books and
collectable items, plants and pets, and you name it.

The visits to Chatuchak made me think about the cultural differences between people from developing and developed countries. Western tourists would look for antique ethnic handicrafts whereas the locals would not even care about those sections of the market.

In my observations, people from industrialized countries tend to appreciate this kind of picture.

Sunset in Bagan (Photo source is unknown and may have copyrights
held by the photographer)


Anger and Hatred

I was browsing through some Burmese blogs for information related to Burma.
Some blogs are very informative and entertaining. Some are very poetic and
imaginative. Some are full of gossips and personal attacks.
Some comments on the blogs did remind me of
soc.culture.burma
while I was a student in the US.
Back in the days of early and late 90s, Usenet newsgroup were the places where
people shared information and ideas. It was before we know the web as we do today.
Anti-junta Burmese folks (they are majority in the virtual world of the Internet)
would fight with the pro-junta people (minority) in discussion groups.
Some people just got tired of arguing and defaced
www.myanmar.com
on August 3, 2000.
People's hatred of the current military government can be seen online since the early
90s. The military has always crushed any calls for reforms in the history
(in 1988, 1996, and 2007 as far as my life span is concerned). The people are
generally not happy with the military regime. They expressed
the…

U Thant Crisis

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The following is from Wikipedia.

From the United Nations headquarters in New York, U Thant's body was flown back to Rangoon but no guard of honour or high ranking officials were on hand at the airport when the coffin arrived.
On the day of U Thant's funeral on December 5, 1974, tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Rangoon to pay their last respects to their distinguished countryman whose coffin was displayed at Rangoon's Kyaikasan race course for a few hours before the scheduled burial.
The coffin of U Thant was then snatched by a group of students just before it was scheduled to leave for burial in an ordinary Rangoon cemetery. The student demonstrators buried U Thant on the former grounds of the Rangoon University Students Union (RUSU), which Ne Win had dynamited and destroyed on July 8, 1962.
During the period of December 5 through December 11, 1974, the student demonstrators also built a temporary mausoleum for U Thant on the grounds of the Rangoon Universi…